Tuesday, March 13, 2007

April in Italy!

When I saw that one of my favorite movies was now also a play nominated for the Tony Award and about to be produced in my area, I auditioned and, amazingly, got a small part

My friend, author Mary DeMuth, has a to-do list for writers and number four is get away from your work and do something else for a while.

Well, I've done just that, for the sake of a change of pace and heightened creativity--and with other people.

Writing is such solitary work and full of long waits. Acting gets you into a different world, working with others face to face, and garners instant feedback: It works or it doesn't and the director is quick to tell you which.

"Enchanted April" is light dramedy in the Merchant Ivory tradition (think Room With a View, Howard's End,) based on the 1922 book by Elizabeth Von Arnim. It also became a lovely movie seventy years later.

It received great reviews although that one left out the wonderful Alfred Molina.

The play has recently become available, so it's now showing or in production in many areas this spring.

Two desperate London housewives in 1922 rent a small castle in Italy for a brief escape from the rain--and their less than stellar marriages. They find two more women--one difficult, one exotic--to share expenses and off they all go--into more rain. But they waken to the enchanted beauty of San Salvatore and some lovely surprises....

The movie shows four servants at the castle, but the play has only one, Costanza. That's me. And my lines are all in Italian, except breakfast and marvelous. I had studied a little Italian, plus French and Spanish in school, plus a little Japanese and a little Hebrew. I love languages. So the translations make sense to me and it was not too hard to learn. Easier than learning the sequence of my seven entrance cues in one scene.

San Salvatore is represented by Castello Brown in Portofino, Italy (now also on my to-do list) and in our lovely theater set surrounded by blue water and terrace furniture to match. So a little corner of London plus San Salvatore make up our alternate reality for now.

The cast and crew are talented and share a sweet chemistry and it's all just so much fun. Just like playing, but all grown-up. (Relatively speaking!) Like, "Hey, watch this, let's pretend," and off we go.

As for writing, one of the character/husbands is an author of novels another character calls "salacious." His own wife, Rose, says, "One shouldn't write novels God wouldn't want to read."

LOL I wouldn't even recommend critiquing and helping others write novels God wouldn't want to read.

Whether or not I ever audition again, time will tell.

And I'll definitely write again.

But right now,
I'm being blessed by this play. God is so good, He does give us the desires of our hearts! It isn't often a part comes along for a woman "of a certain age,"
let alone a clean, uplifting story you could bring older children to, let alone a favorite story in a lovely setting.

"All'Italia--" "Marvelous!"